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Lockdown at Bendrigg Lodge and the 2.6 challenge

By Lesley Williams
4 minute read

The Bendrigg Trust is a specialist centre providing outdoor experiences for disabled and disadvantaged children and young adults, and a charity that Cicerone and our many customers have been proud and eager to support. It’s a happy and thriving place, full of energy and laughter offering life-changing experiences. Now there is only silence.

Bendrigg Lodge, Cumbria
Evening light at Bendrigg

Perched at the top of a drumlin between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks, Bendrigg Lodge enjoys views of the Howgills to the north, the Yorkshire Dales to the east, and the distant fells of the Lake District to the west. It's just ten minutes drive from the M6 motorway, yet a world away from normal life for those who come to experience a week of outdoor activities.

In the words of one young disabled adventurer,

“Being away from home is weird because, you know, you’re never away from home – you’re mostly just at home. And you’re never outdoors that much. Half of these activities I’ve never done in my life and now is the opportunity where I can do them”.

Bendrigg is about two kilometres from our house, so it’s on one of our walking from home routes, as well as a nearby landmark on a bike ride. Usually there is some sort of activity going on as we pass – maybe some excited shrieks of delight from the zip-wire, or a group returning in a minibus with a trailer full of canoes towed behind. There will be cars parked in the new parking area opposite the new accommodation block – a state of the art facility designed to be suitable for visitors with complex care needs, and you may hear the clatter of knives and forks and muffled chatter coming from the canteen hall at the back, which overlooks the slope down to the woodland area, with the Howgills rising in the distance.

For now there is only silence.

Views of the Howgills from Bendrigg LodgeBendrigg's new accommodation buildingBendrigg Lodge

The minibuses and canoes are neatly parked and secured, the doors are locked, windows are shut. The skeleton of the giant wigwam in the grounds lacks its canvas, standing bare and redundant. The zip-wire is locked down, and so is Bendrigg.

Like many facilities offering outdoor activities and residential courses, Bendrigg is silent for now, but the difference is that some of their vulnerable visitors may not be able to attend a course for many more months, unlike the more able-bodied who may access courses at other outdoor facilities. We firmly hope that this wonderful charity will survive, and that the happy shrieks of laughter will once again disturb the silence.

Get involved in the #TwoPointSixChallenge this Sunday and become an at home hero for Bendrigg Trust

What is the 2.6 challenge?

Sunday 26 April, would have been the 40th year of the London Marathon, which in its history has seen over £1 billion being raised for good causes.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the London Marathon, as well as other mass participation events, have been postponed resulting in many charities, including Bendrigg, losing out on much needed fund raised income.

The #TwoPointSixChallenge is a way of bringing the nation together to support UK charities by inviting supporters, such as yourselves, to come up with their own challenge incorporating the numbers 2 & 6, to help raise much needed funds.

People can do whatever they wish, as long as they adhere to the Government social distancing guidelines.

How Can I Get Involved?

Getting involved with the challenge couldn't be easier...

1. Think of a challenge that incorporates the numbers 2.6 or 26. This could be anything from cycling 2.6 miles to playing a 26 minute virtual concert to friends and family. 26 keepy-uppies or a cooking challenge. Stuck for ideas? Click here to download the 2.6 challenge idea pack.

2. Take a video or photograph yourself doing the challenge & share it on social media making sure you tag @BendriggTrust #TwoPointSixChallenge so they can thank you for supporting them.

3. Donate or fundraise £26 or more via this unique charity link :
https://twopointsixchallenge.justgiving.com/get-involved?charityId=182297

4. Nominate a friend or family member to take on their own 2.6 challenge for Bendrigg!

All the team at Bendrigg will be so grateful for your support!

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